November 6th is less than a month away and no matter your political persuasion, you likely feel that the results of the presidential election will have real-life consequences for you and your organization. Well I’m not here to tell you who to vote for – YNPN Chicago is nonpartisan – but I am telling you that you should get involved!
Although it may seem late in the political season, there are still many ways to take part in the political process and fulfill your civic duty.
- Make sure you are registered to vote! If you are an Illinois resident you can double check on the State Board of Elections web page. This page will also give you the location of your polling place.
- Watch the debates to see what the candidates have to say. Even better join a debate watching party like the one YNPN Chicago is hosting on Tuesday, October 16th. And after the debate you can see if the facts that seemed a bit questionable held up by checking sites like FactCheck.org.
- Make sure to form your own opinions by reading up on the candidates. And don’t just choose sites that may reinforce your political preferences. I strongly encourage you to look at sites that may be associated with the other party to better understand why they support their candidates and what holes may be in your candidates’ arguments.
- I have been guilty of walking into a polling booth and not knowing about any of the judges. One place to start trying to get informed about these candidates is the Chicago Bar Association’s evaluation of judicial candidates. (They even have a guide for your smart phone.)
- Know your voting rights. For example, the state of Illinois has ruled that voters have the right to take up to two successive hours of time off work to vote. (To guarantee you qualify for this exemption you need to apply for it with your employer before Election Day.)
There are obviously many more ways you can take part in the political process this year, but if nothing else please make sure to let your voice be heard via the ballot box!
Katie Anthony is the Communications Co-Chair for YNPN Chicago. She is currently getting a Master of Public Policy at the University of Chicago’s Harris School. Previously Katie worked in the nonprofit sector for seven years and currently is an active volunteer with other nonprofits including Woman Made Gallery, the Junior League of Chicago, and her alma mater Carleton College.